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Withdrawal and Criminal Liability under the Criminal Laws of Jordan and Australia: A Comparative Study

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This article is a comparative study of withdrawal as a defence to the criminal liability of an offender in Jordan (a civil law jurisdiction) and Australia (a common law jurisdiction). The analysis in this paper reveals that, in both jurisdictions, criminal laws have long accepted withdrawal as a conduit through which the offender’s liability can be modified or completely quashed. However, there has been no serious attempt, at least in Jordan, to provide anything approaching a complete explanation of the conditions under which the defence may be available and to explore its limits and boundaries. Neither has any serious effort been made to offer an account of the defence’s conceptual nature and governing rationale. The present paper seeks to identify and explore the defence’s conceptual basis and rationale, its current state of law and the appropriate direction in which the defence might be developed. To achieve this purpose, the paper is divided into three sections. In Section 1, it explores the conceptual nature of withdrawal. Section 2 addresses the rationale of the defence in light of the underlying principles of criminal liability in both jurisdictions. In Section 3 a comparative analysis of the defence’s qualifying requirements is undertaken in relation to both primary and accessorial criminal liability. Comparative analysis shows that withdrawal can be used as a defence to all forms of criminal complicity with differing degrees of variations in relation to both its qualifying requirements and the extent to which it may affect the liability of an offender. In cases involving incitement, however, the inciter cannot rely on the defence to avoid criminal liability although his or her punishment can be reduced pursuant to his or her voluntary withdrawal under the JPC.

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor of Criminal Law, Faculty of Law, Yarmouk University Irbid, Jordan


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